Chris Carpenter leaves Cardinals camp with neck injury

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Chris Carpenter will miss his scheduled start Monday and has left Cardinals camp to get a second opinion on his injured neck, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Strauss writes that the Cardinals have “remained intentionally vague about Carpenter’s timetable after initially suggesting he would miss one Grapefruit League start.”

Carpenter finally admitted yesterday that he’s had neck soreness for nearly a week, but no one has offered any further details about the specifics of the injury. Whatever the case, the 36-year-old former Cy Young winner’s status for Opening Day is now very much in question.

UPDATE: Strauss has more details now, including the fact that Carpenter has been tested for nerve problems, and paints a picture of the Cardinals being plenty worried about the situation.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.